PPI or payment protection insurance is a product sold alongside a credit card, personal loan or mortgage that ensures your weekly/monthly repayments are consistently made in the event of death, falling ill or involuntary redundancy. When you find yourself in a position where you are unable to meet the repayments as agreed to in the credit or loan agreement due to illness, death or redundancy, the money provided by means of this genre of insurance allows those repayments to continue, therefore, offering peace of mind that your credit rating won’t be damaged or allow a build-up of repayments, which could in turn evolve into a bigger debt than originally anticipated.
Of recent times, this type of insurance has received very bad press as it has emerged that lending institutions had mis-sold this type of insurance to customers who did not need this type of cover. People on contract, those close to retirement or the self-employed are prime examples of those who are ineligible to be insured under these insurance schemes yet were sold it anyway. An article in the Irish Times reported that some customers were denied loans unless they took out PPI and some were completely unaware that they were paying for it all!
The Ombudsman has intimated that people with a claim could be time-barred from making a successful claim to recover this money. However, according to the Statute of Limitations, 1957, a person will only be time barred from bringing an action after the expiration of six years “from the date on which the cause of action accrued.” What one can argue is that this section stipulates that this six year period only begins to run once you have knowledge of the wrong committed against you.
However, if you do find yourself outside the six year time period, there may be another avenue of redress in the form of another section, section 71(1), of the same act, the Statute of Limitations Act 1957. The courts have always held strong the perception that a statute will not be used as an instrument of fraud, i.e. that if a person has been deceived and that same person relies on a certain time limit specified in the Statute of Frauds so as to escape liability, such will not be permitted. This section intimates that the period of limitation “shall not being to run until the plaintiff has discovered the fraud or could with reasonable diligence have discovered it.” Therefore in a case of a claim of payment protection insurance that has been mis-sold to you, there is a strong possibility that the clock will only begin to tick once you have actual knowledge of being mis-sold the product.
When taking out a loan or getting credit from a lending institution, it’s important to read the type of protection insurance you are being offered as it varies from one lending institution to the next and while one lending institution may cover certain illnesses and a wide degree of circumstances, another lending body may not, so care and consideration is paramount when reading over the contract provided to you and the PPI to see exactly what is involved and in what circumstances will you be covered and for how long.
Examples of this type of mis-selling are widespread. Indeed some people have been fortunate enough to be refunded without any action taken on their part. However, there is always a possibility that some cases of mis-selling have gone un-noticed and have not been refunded or it may be the case that you are simply unaware that you are paying for a product that you don’t even need. If you have been affected by any of the issues highlighted in this article and seek further advice on the matter, please don’t hesitate in contacting our team at email@example.com or simply drop into us at 30-31 Francis Street, Dublin 8.
Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed.
It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.
Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.
AnthonyJoyce & Co